How to correct a scoring error?

My opponent and I just finished the following game and somehow a large live group by black was marked dead. The score went through with it this way. While it does not change the outcome, it changes the score quite significantly. Can this be corrected so that black’s rating does not take as big of a hit for the loss?

same as Need Game Score Review

Rating changes do not depend on the exact score, there is no difference between winning by half a point and winning by 100. (Your opponent stated that the outcome was changed due to the mistake though.)
Changing the score after agreeing on the result is not possible.

1 Like

When I clicked on agree - the stones were not marked dead. After I clicked agree, the stones showed up dead and the game was closed. I would not have hit agree if the screen showed that large group dead. Not sure of it is net lag or something, but I did not see those as dead when I clicked the agree button.

This glitch did change the outcome. Correct score is 73.5w to 74.0b. The game, however is recorded as 114.5w to 69b. Black is the correct winner. I have to agree with Misawa that it seems more like a glitch than a human error. If we have undo mechanisms for making a single move, we should certainly have some sort of safety mechanism for entire game scoring.

Why isn’t it possible if both players have observed and agree that the scoring process glitched and resulted in a mistake. This throws off the tournament we are playing in as well. Why can’t this be changed?

1 Like

I can only guess, however, the greatest problem I see is the consistency of data.
When we change the outcome of a game, we need to recalculate the ratings of the participating players, then we need to recalculate the ratings of all players who played against them at a later date, then we need to recalculate the ratings of all players who played against those players at a later date and so on.

As for tournaments at least pre-4.2 it was possible for the tournament director to manipulate tournament points (haven’t checked since then).

I’m not aware of any bugs suddenly changing status of groups of it own. If that’s what happened, there’ll hopefully be additional reports in the future.

Well, I guess we’re getting into UI and data design here, but the standard approach for this is to provide a window for undo operations before data commit. That way you don’t have to worry about recalculating anything. For example, have you ever ordered anything online that you quickly realized contained an error? Transactions like this typically provide correction soon after the fact (again, much like the move undo functionality recently introduced).

As you say, we’ll have to see if there are other reports of suspiciously changed scoring. An alternative explanation is an erroneous touch or click on the way to the “Accept” button. That’s another scenario where human factors would suggest a failsafe design. Given that games here represent six months to two years of effort, it seems warranted to me to consider error handling.

I don’t know about this instance specifically, but I would agree that the scoring ritual on OGS appears buggy. I have seen the marked stones change at weird times and been fearful that I was going to agree to something that changes between me deciding “this is correct” and clicking to signal agreement. If nothing else it’s a potential avenue for griefers and should be made atomic rather than real-time collaborative!

The mistake in this game seems so out of character (and both of the players say they didn’t mark the group dead) and it affects the outcome (and someone’s correspondence rating quite a bit - those can take months to heal). It’s not a great situation all over.

What can be done?


I’m moving this thread to the “Support” area so it can get the attention of @anoek and @matburt. (Hope you won’t shoot me, guys :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: )

No shooting anyone I promise. Thank you for moving it here. I should have started this thread here anyway. I appreciate everyone’s comments and hope that something can be possible to fix a situation like this.

So is anyone from the OGS team looking into this? Or is this a dead issue?

I’m not a part of OGS team but there is no way to “look in to” this. There is one report where players say that group status changed without clicking. This seems highly unlikely but ofcourse possible. I figure hundreds of games are played on OGS everyday. No one has reported this behaviour before this. In my head it’s very likely that one of the players clicked the group dead. Maybe after more of these reports come during the years. Then there is something to "look in to"
It would be very inefficient trying to review some code because one game out of 1 370 000 games turned out wrong.

Our issue is that neither of us clicked a large group dead during scoring, but it was counted dead. This is what we were looking at. How can this be corrected? Why are you responding to this? And yes, there are other reports of scoring abnormalities.

This can happen because the life & death code is not 100% accurate. As you said

This has been reported countless times.
The answer has been always the same. It is the players responsibility to check the board before clicking accept.
There is no way to turn that game result around. Moderators can change the ranking points awarded though.

However in this case you said

and THAT has not been reported ever as far as I know. OGS has around 1,3 million games played since who knows when. That number might be highly inaccurate but in any case the number of played games is freaking huge.

I am responding this because I feel like I have something to say and this is in public forum.

Hey Misawa,

sorry for the late response, the last week has been really busy! :frowning:

The black group in your game has been marked dead by a player (hollasch or you) - wether by accident or intentional I can’t tell. When the scoring system is unsure about the result, it will make the stones “etheral”, and not mark them the way in your game.

This is not a bug.

Hope this clears up the situation. Game results can not be changed, thus you have to live with the result. Sorry for the inconvenience. We can, however, restore lost rank points if you wish me to do that.


While I understand that one can get this impression, I have to say this is not the case. The scoring ritual works as intended: At the end of the game, the computer tries to mark groups dead and alive to help the players.

Obviously, the computer is not perfect and can fail at times. This is usually marked by the stones becoming “etheral”, or transparent. In rare complicated situations, the computer can even fail and mark dead groups alive.

After that initial help, which takes about half a second, the players have to mark stones dead and alive themself, as is normal in most internet servers (KGS for example). The computer will not intervene.

If the players forget to mark stones, the outcome of the game is obviously wrong and gets calculated. I agree that this is not intuitive for new players; yet it’s how the system works at the moment.

In my experience, most games that get reported for being “bugged at scoring” are either inexperience of the players, unintentional marking, or malicious intent. All of these are human mistakes, though! I hope this clears it up a little.

We try to help where we can, blaming it on being a bug though is not helpful, because there is nothing to fix.

There will certainly be an update to the scoring algorithm at one point in the future; so that it fails less often. Different scoring situations like “each player having his own board to mark” and other ideas have also been discussed before. I’m sure we will come up with something when the time arises to make it more newbie-friendly.

In the meantime, I ask everyone who reads this, to point out how the system properly works, if questions arise about it.

Thanks! :sunny:

Is there a FAQ for marking life/death/seki/teire? I’ve had a few situations where both players involved didn’t understand or made a mistake with marking trickier situations like seki and teire. In all of the cases, it fortunately didn’t affect who won, but it would be good to know how to do it properly.

I doubt there is a bug to calculate the score after the stones are correctly marked, since that should be quite simple. However, the issue is marking stones correctly, which becomes an interface design issue. It seems that a lot of the complaints are just due to simple misunderstanding, and I think the interface could be a bit more intuitive for the trickier situations, and the status could be a bit more clearly marked (e.g., highlighting dead stones in red, flashing red for open boundaries, marking dame/teire in blue, making stones alive in seki in a completely different color, etc.)

1 Like

I agree with yebellz. I’ve played loads of games here and do not consider myself inexperienced. My complaint is that the state of the board when I marked “agreed” and what I saw scored are two different things. Unless my browser was not up to date and I hit “agreed” blindly (meaning my screen was not current), I don’t know how this could have happened. This is not a confusing group, and neither of us are beginner players who would have marked this group dead.

Thank you for replying. I replied below to the issue. But you mention a rank adjustment - that would be nice. Thanks again.

This sounds like a good idea. I’m sure the Devs will come up with something.

Either you, or your opponent marked the group dead. Sorry if this sounds harsh and accusing, but it’s how it happened.

I’ve restored your lost ranking points.

Thanks for all the replies!


1 Like